My first experiences in alcohol use research: recommendations for early career researchers

In this article, Joella shares her first experiences of working as a research assistant on a research placement at the University of Balearic Islands alongside the Research Group in Data Analysis.The project that Joella is currently working on focuses on young people’s alcohol use, specifically in the psychosocial evaluation of alcohol use in young people of Palma de Mallorca. This evaluation includes the assessment of risky alcohol use, attitudes towards alcohol use and socioeconomic status. Joella’s role in this study is to coordinate and implement data collection. It is hoped that throughout the placement Joella will gain essential research and project management skills that will help her pursue a PhD in prevention research. Joella concludes with some key recommendations for other early career researchers who are trying to gain experience in their field.

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Why prevention research matters for global health policy

Prevention research plays a crucial role in data gathering, and developing best practices and strategies for fighting one of the biggest issues in global health today – the epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In this month’s blog, Vasilka Lalevska reflects on how, why and when prevention research matters in this context.

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International Drug Control vs. Preventing Harm from Substance Use in Afghanistan

In this month’s blog post, Abdul Subor Momand and Larissa J. Maier provide a perspective on current drug policy developments in Afghanistan and emphasize how these impact prevention efforts in the country. The authors will explore what it needs to tackle substance use among youth and people with substance use disorders during times of political instability and nationwide grief.

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To do or to … give up?

In this blog, Sanela Talič would like to share her experiences with the implementation of “Strengthening Families Program (6-11)” in Slovenia. It is a comprehensive family-focused curriculum that includes 14 sessions of parent training, children’s skills training, and family skills training in order to promote behaviour change in high risk families.  SFP has been found to significantly reduce multiple risk factors for later alcohol and drug use, mental health problems and criminal behaviour by increasing family strengths, teens /children’s social competencies and improving positive parenting skills.

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Virtually limitless? Contemplating virtual reality in prevention research

This month, Samuel Tomczyk invites us to take the plunge into his research area of virtual reality, and debunks some of the main myths surrounding its everyday application and its potential use for prevention research. Whether this should be limited to ‘lab work’ is the question asked by the author: virtual reality can provide invaluable training for dealing with the most precarious situations, but is it truly replicable?

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Sexual health promotion in adolescents: From the schools to the shelters

In this post, Dr Alexandra Morales, Assistant Professor at Miguel Hernández University (Spain), shares details of an exciting new project to promote positive sexual health behaviours in adolescents who are living in children’s shelters in Spain. The project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Espada, Full Professor at Miguel Hernández University; Dr Orgilés, Full Professor at Miguel Hernández University; and Dr Lightfoot, Professor at University of California San Francisco. Alexandra explains this new line of research, why this work is so important, and what the next steps are for the project.

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Come on let’s TWIST again! Early Career Bursaries @LxAddictions 2017

In this post, Dijana Jerković and Larissa J. Maier share their experiences of securing funding through the TWIST project, in order to attend LxAddictions 2017. The aim is to describe the TWIST training and the application process to support other early career researchers who may want to contribute to the upcoming third conference in 2019.

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The challenge of recruiting licensed premises to host prevention research

In September 2016, I embarked on my journey to a doctorate at Oxford Brookes University. Still enraptured having been awarded a studentship, I felt invincible; my study was going to be a trail blazer. Fuelled by temerity, I dismissed suggestions of hurdles, barriers, and walls I would have to climb. After all, my tenacity would enable me to leap higher, push harder and offer a leg-up to propel me over those walls. Oh the innocence!

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ECF events at the EUSPR 2017 conference – a review

The 8th Conference and Members’ Meeting of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) took place in Vienna, Austria from 20th to the 22nd September 2017. As in the previous year, the EUSPR Early Careers Forum (ECF) was represented at the conference with an early-careers event on every day of the conference, including:

  • a pre-conference workshop,
  • a networking event,
  • early-career parallel sessions, and
  • special awards.

As with last year, we also offered members of the ECF the possibility to participate in the abstract review process, so as to help them develop their own abstract writing skills as well as to gain insights into what happens “behind the scenes” once an abstract is submitted.

The EUSPR generously sponsored 15 bursaries to support early-career preventionists to attend the conference, as well as the pre-conference workshop and our networking event – many thanks!!

Below, we briefly report on the various activities that took place. More pictures are available from our Facebook page.

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